LEFTIES HAVE THE BEST INTENTIONS, REALLY

Not all academics are smug, deranged lefties. Meet Gary Saul Morson (PhD Yale):

In The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn remarked that between 1905 and 1908 the regime executed as many as 2,200 people—forty-five a month!—“calling forth tears from Tolstoy and indignation from Korolenko and many, many others.” By comparison, conservative estimates of executions under Lenin and Stalin—say, twenty million from 1917 to 1953—yield an average of over ten thousand per week. That’s a tsarist century every few days.

Western public opinion has never come to terms with the crimes of Communism. Every school child knows about the Holocaust, Apartheid, and American slavery, as they should. But Pol Pot’s murder of a quarter of Cambodia’s population has not dimmed academic enthusiasm for the Marxism his henchmen studied in Paris. Neither the Chinese Cultural Revolution nor the Great Purges seem to have cast a shadow on the leftists who apologized for them. Quite the contrary, university classes typically blame the Cold War on American “paranoia” about communism and still picture Bolsheviks as idealists in too great a hurry. Being leftwing means never having to say you’re sorry.

And:

Apologists for the USSR have often claimed that, however regrettable the cost, the Bolsheviks had no choice if they were going to industrialize rapidly and defeat the Nazis. This excuse is nonsense. To begin with, the bloodiest event of all, the artificially induced famine during the war against the peasants, took place before Hitler came to power, and mass killings of whole groups dated to the regime’s first months. It is also hard to see how industrialization was helped by the massive arrest of the “bourgeois specialists,” which included just about everyone who understood how specific industries worked. And how was the war effort to be aided by targeting the army officer corps during the great purges of 1936–38? 

True believers believe no matter what:

Georgy Pyatakov, who was twice expelled from the Party and eventually shot, wrote that a true Bolshevik is “ready to believe [not just assert] that black was white and white was black, if the Party required it.” In 1984, O’Brien proclaims this very doctrine—two plus two is really five if the Party says it is—which he calls “collective solipsism.”

Is it any wonder that those who reject human rights, treat people in terms of friendly or enemy groups, place no moral limit on action, and are certain that whatever they do is right should wind up committing colossal evil?

Read the whole thing, you won’t be disappointed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s